Three car-borne tricksters, including a self-styled tantrik, looted a gold chain and ring worth Rs 4.50 lakh from leading industrialist Ramesh Manaklal Mantri in front of Pantaloons Mall on West High Court Road, Dharampeth, on Saturday morning.
A resident of Mantri Sadan, Shivaji Nagar, Mantri (70) was riding a bicycle on West High Court Road. Around 6.20 am, three people came in a white Maruti Alto car and stopped him on the pretext of asking for an address.
The man sitting next to the driver’s seat told Mantri that they were carrying ‘Aghori’ Sadhu Baba in the car and searching for a temple or any ashram for a brief stay. When Mantri told him that there was no temple or ashram nearby, he asked him to take‘darshan’of the Sadhu Baba who was sitting on the rear seat. With folded hands, Mantri saw the ‘Baba’ on the rear seat and sought blessings.
The ‘Baba’ then asked Mantri whether he had a Rs 10 currency note. Mantri took out a note and handed it over to the ‘Baba’ who chanted some mantra and returned it to him saying that he would be benefitted. The ‘Baba’ then asked him whether he had any valuables to perform mantra puja on them.
Presuming him to be a real Sadhu, Mantri took out his gold chain and a ring worn by him and handed them over to the ‘Baba.’ As soon as the ‘Baba’ took the gold ornaments from him, the driver accelerated dragging Mantri up to about 9 ft. Before he could raise an alarm, the tricksters escaped.
Mantri, who suffered minor injuries, immediately informed the police. Following the victim’s complaint, Sitabuldi Police registered an FIR under Sections 420, 409 and 406 of the Indian Penal Code and launched a manhunt for the tricksters.